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Kiara
Dedicated October 2019

City Hall Wedding!

Kiara, on April 11, 2018 at 9:47 AM Posted in Planning 0 20
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My FH and I decided that we’d change our date to 2019 and get married at city hall. It’s only to save money but also because his dad doesn’t want us to stress about money and finding a really good venue that we want. If we were to have a small lunch / dinner, who should I personally invite? I know we’ll have our immediate family (our parents plus our siblings and their kids). Do you invite any friends (like 5 or so of them)?

I also want some tips on having a city hall wedding because I read that it isn’t easy at all to have one.

20 Comments

Latest activity by Mrs. Spring, on January 23, 2021 at 2:57 PM
  • Kristina
    Master August 2018
    Kristina ·
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    Invite whoever you'd like to share the day with you. If they don't come to mind immediately as a "I have to have them there!" then it's probably not necessary, especially for something small like this.

    I don't have any advice on a city hall wedding, though, so good luck!

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  • Porterpoppin
    VIP March 2019
    Porterpoppin ·
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    Would you guys be paying for brunch/lunch? I'd of course do parents and siblings. The people I would have originally asked to be my bridesmaids (bestfriend and cousins)..grandparents if they are local. Idk I feel like my list would end up being too large lol

    as far as city hall you should be able to google courthouse wedding for your city and more info should pop up
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    Makes sense. We don’t plan to invite more than 5 friends of ours, if they can make it.

    But thank you! Smiley smile
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    We do plan to pay for everything, only because we’re both stubborn and don’t want anyone paying for much of our wedding stuff. I never had a BP yet since we looked into both big wedding and a city hall wedding but I have my man of honor who will be our witness. We also have a few friends we’d invite. My grandparents live at my parents’ so they would be there. I just want to keep it small as possible to save money. I’m thinking 20 - 30 people max is appropriate?

    And I googled it but people said it’s hard to plan. Especially because it seems easy but there’s a lot of things that go into it. Like how many people are allowed inside the room at city hall (which apparently is 6 including the witness) but I read max was 20 so I’m confused hahaha
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  • Going to the chapel
    Master July 2017
    Going to the chapel ·
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    Which city hall will you be married at? Posters are amazing at doing research and helping with information.

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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    We haven’t decided yet but we’re thinking either the San Francisco one or Napa one. I’m from San Francisco but my FH is from Napa so we’re debating which we want to do.
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  • P
    Super January 2019
    PalmTrees ·
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    I’m getting married at the courthouse, where I live they don’t do them at city hall but essentially the same thing. If you google it you should be able to find like a fact sheet for your specific city that’ll tell you everything you need to know, it should be really easy. As for inviting friends that really depends. It can be a slippery slope because depending on how many friends you have you might invite your best two but then have others feeling bad or just whining about not getting invited. That’d be the case for me anyway.
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    I live in San Francisco so I know it's at the city hall we have here.

    I know we have to make two appointments for the ceremony plus the marriage license. I also know that we can't invite more than 20 people. I want at least our two - three good friends there at the ceremony so I'm just conflicted on whether that's okay.

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  • Melanie
    Devoted March 2018
    Melanie ·
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    I’d get married at SF City Hall in a minute... instead we were married in a DC courthouse and had to walk through the juvenile intake and family court to get to the marriage license office... way less romantic and picturesque. I think that you can only have six in SF, unless you go thru City Hall Events and rent a larger space (and pay for the space).

    City Hall is gorgeous! Don’t forget to hire a photographer to bring along I love the photos from my courthouse wedding.
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  • MrsV1027
    Master October 2018
    MrsV1027 ·
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    We were going to do a city hall wedding for the legal part of it since we planned on buying a house before the big wedding(I wanted to be able to sign those kinds of papers with my new name). In my city they have a small window twice a day for city hall weddings and those go fast and there wasn't a way to book in advance but there was a walk in wedding chapel across the street that also takes appointments and was like $50 to do our ceremony. We planned it with less than 24 hours notice though so I'm sure you'll be able to figure something out with all the time you have Smiley smile

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  • Daria
    VIP January 2019
    Daria ·
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    It will be different in each place. I'd call each city and ask what they allow. One may allow more people than the other, and that could be the decision maker. Also, there are a lot of options between a city hall wedding and a big full blown party with a few hundred people. Look into ceremony-only sites, you might find a cute park or area that would not be expensive at all for a 30 minute ceremony and would make for great pictures. Or if you find a restaurant with a private dining area, you can have the officiant come and perform the ceremony there.

    Though, I've heard SF is nice. City Hall there wouldn't be a terrible option. Some cities have more atmosphere going for them than others.

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  • BrandiWeds18
    VIP May 2019
    BrandiWeds18 ·
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    Yea you need to call them specifically and ask them what you will need and then that will help you plan. Hopefully someone here has had a ceremony at SF or Napa, but also laws and rules change all the time so you may want to call directly and get the most current up to date information for the time you will have the ceremony. Especially if there is a max of people to invite you will have to stick to the number they tell you and you want to make sure its accurate.


    For instance my mom keeps telling me that the LA courthouses want you to do a blood test first, when i looked it up and that no longer exists. So bad information can travel.

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  • F
    Dedicated April 2019
    Futuremrsgrill ·
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    If you have to many people and are looking to have 20-30 people max maybe look into small wedding/elopement spaces in your area. We will have 25 people so to much for just a town hall wedding, but I found a B&B that had a package for up to 36 people. It includes all the necessities including the officiant and the space, and even includes cake and sparkling juice for everyone invited. It was $1900 for that and we decided to hire a caterer for a dinner afterwards even though we weren’t required to. I don’t know if that is in your price range but maybe look into places in your area that might have something similar.
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    Here in SF, it’s $83 for the ceremony and $104 for the marriage license. We also have 90 days to make an appointment for both and can do it online. So it gives us time to prepare because we do want it on an exact date. We researched and thankfully that was an option to do it online! But we do have a limit to only 6 people, which is okay with us!
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    We didn’t want to pay more than we needed and since the max guest count for the city hall wedding is 6 guests, we stuck with that. We also plan to do it on a Thursday so it’s totally okay!
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    SF has a max of 6 guests for a public ceremony and Napa has a max of 20 guests but we’d rather do SF to keep it small and cheaper Smiley smile
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  • Kiara
    Dedicated October 2019
    Kiara ·
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    SF City Hall definitely has more options! They have a one-hour ceremony for 100 guests and two-hour ceremony for 300 guests. We don’t want that many guests so we just decided that 6 guests is okay until we have our big wedding ☺️
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  • I
    Dedicated December 2019
    isabel1115 ·
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    We are planning to do the same thing: civil ceremony at SF City Hall and then a reception with more people (though we plan a full blown reception). SF City Hall limits to 6 guests for a civil ceremony but I've also heard, its a public building so people can stand around. Smiley winking

    My concern is the 90 day booking window. I've heard different things but the general idea is that SF City Hall does weddings from about 9-3:30pm, 3 per half hour so that's only 45 slots a day! My concern is how fast those slots fill up. This isn't your average city hall and SF is very densely populated! Since you're getting married in October, I might ask you later how that experience was! Smiley smile


    Here's some links I used for info on SF City Hall weddings:

    https://sfgov.org/countyclerk/marriage-civil-ceremony

    https://apracticalwedding.com/how-to-get-married-at-san-francisco-city-hall/

    https://www.redeyecollection.com/san-francisco-city-hall-wedding-photography/how-to-get-married-at-san-francisco-city-hall


    This one is, by far, the most useful one I've found:

    http://www.maghoney.com/blog/your-ultimate-guide-to-rockin-your-san-francisco-city-hall-wedding


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  • Eric
    May 2020
    Eric ·
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  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Huh? It's very easy getting married at city hall
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